Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau always said that two of the three main things he always preached to his defense was not to get beat deep and always tackle the catch. Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake and safety Mike Mitchell failed to deliver on both of those key principles during one second quarter play and it resulted in a touchdown.
With 6:33 left in the first half, the Bengals ran all three wide receivers vertically up the field against the Steelers cover-3 defense. On the right side, wide receiver A.J. Green was singled-up on Blake and the Bengals leading pass catcher was able to get the cornerback to bite very easily on a double-move route and it didn’t take long for him to get a lot of separation. Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron delivered a beautiful deep ball to Green, who hauled in the pass 36 yards past the originally line of scrimmage.
10 yards after the reception was made, Blake and Mitchell both had opportunities to tackle Green at around the Steelers 20-yard-line but they failed in their attempts and it resulted in a 66-yard touchdown.
Up until that point of the game, Blake, I do believe, played every defensive snap. After that long touchdown, however, Blake was off of the field quite a bit in nickel situations for the remainder of the game.